The Best Robin Williams’ moments from the movie Good Morning, Vietnam. Robin Williams, RIP, 1951-2014.
He takes everything, he says, more slowly now…”You know, I was shameful, and you do stuff that causes disgust, and that’s hard to recover from. You can say, ‘I forgive you’ and all that stuff, but it’s not the same as recovering from it. It’s not coming back.”
…it may well be down to the open-heart surgery he underwent early last year, when surgeons replaced his aortic valve with one from a pig.
“Oh, God, you find yourself getting emotional. It breaks through your barrier, you’ve literally cracked the armour. And you’ve got no choice, it literally breaks you open. And you feel really mortal.” Does the intimation of mortality live with him still? “Totally.” Is it a blessing? “Totally.”
- Robin Williams, 63, [July 29th 1951 - August 11th 2014]. RIP.
Notes: Photo – Tracylord
Think of one of those Chuck Close self-portraits. The face takes up the entire image. You can see every pore. Some people try to introspect like that. But others see themselves in broader landscapes, in the context of longer narratives about forgiveness, or redemption or setback and ascent. Maturity is moving from the close-up to the landscape, focusing less on your own supposed strengths and weaknesses and more on the sea of empathy in which you swim, which is the medium necessary for understanding others, one’s self, and survival.
~ David Brooks, Introspective or Narcissistic?
Source: Kristina Krause
The Lunchbox, winner of Critics’ Week Viewers Choice Award at Cannes 2013. A mistaken delivery in Mumbai’s famously efficient lunchbox delivery system connects a young housewife to an older man in the dusk of his life as they build a fantasy world together through notes in the lunchbox. They each discover a new sense of self and find an anchor to hold on to in the big city of Mumbai that so often crushes hopes and dreams. But since they’ve never met, Ila and Saajan become lost in a virtual relationship that could jeopardize both their realities. (Source: Youtube)
I don’t know when I became old.
Maybe it was that morning.
Maybe it was many, many mornings ago…
Life kept going and lulled me with its motions.
I kept rocking back and forth
as it threw me left and threw me right.
And before I knew it…
Only in America do we equate workaholism with virtue and view time spent at the shore or in the mountains or in the desert as time wasted — as evidence of laziness. Americans feel guilty about taking time off and equate workaholism with virtue. That’s stupid.
Post inspired by the movie: “13 Conversations About One Thing“:
I’ve always thought of contentment
as a form of resignation.
Of accepting the status quo.
It means you’ve given up.
I’m not ready to surrender.
~ John Turturro in 13 Conversations about One Thing
Loved the movie. Here’s a trailer:
And I fallen in love where I wasn’t supposed to be
Right in front of me, talk some sense to me
Amber Run are a five piece band from Nottingham, UK formed in 2012. London Contemporary Voices is one of London’s leading non-traditional choirs. They specialise in work with established artists such as festivals, gigs and recording. They regularly put on their own concerts, covering a broad repertoire leaning towards contemporary popular and leftfield music. They are a young mixed-voice choir of 40 singers, all auditioned to a high standard.
Steps for Longevity: A recent study has found that running for just five minutes a day, even at a slow pace, has similar health benefits to running for longer periods.
Notes: SMWI*: Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration. Image Source: gifak
Source: Atrocity Exhibition
Source: themetapicture.com (Thanks Susan)
A man got his leg wedged between the train and the platform while boarding a train in Perth, Australia on Tuesday. Crowds grew, watching and then pushed against the side of the train, tilting the train car so the man could free his leg. People clapped when the man’s leg was freed, and the train was on its way a few minutes later. The man’s injuries aren’t believed to be serious. (See full video here at ABC News.)
Image Source: 4gifs.com
It’s Wednesday evening.
I’m on my commute home from work.
Traffic is flowing on I-95 North.
A school of fish gliding down a rapid current.
He drips into consciousness at Exit 5.
There are three words on a piece of tattered cardboard, written with a thick, black, felt pen.
The words are stacked.
My thoughts shift to a Netflix movie. I’m replaying scenes from 13 Conversations About One Thing as I’m chewing up highway. John Turturro: Life of predictability. Fullness of routine.
He stands at the same Exit. Exit 9. My Exit.
There’s a stop light at the end of the long exit ramp.
You can’t avoid him, unless you are at the back of the line in rush hour.
And then you pass him at 15 mph as you negotiate the corner.
White male. 35-40 years old. Clean shaven. Average weight and height. A coat a bit heavy and oversized for the season, but not unusually so. His eyes, those eyes, emit distress.
Addict? Alcohol? Prescription Drugs? Coke? Meth?
Unemployed? Unemployable? Record?
Bad decisions? Bad luck?
He doesn’t give much away.
It continues to haunt. James Joyce and Ulysses. Unfinished, brooding on my book shelf. I first discussed his book in a earlier post: Just Can’t Finish. Then I tripped into this video. Luck? I don’t think so. It’s time. Time to pull it off the shelf and give it another whack…
Larry Kirwan, 71, Irish writer and musician, on James Joyce:
Never once did he doubt his own genius, and God knows he had a awfully hard life. He became almost blind to his always broke, always borrowing. And yet he knew his strength. His strength for story, and words and music. I think we read him because of his music and his rhythms. Catching the soul of a person. And catching the inner dialogue, say in the Molly Bloom thing, you could never have met a woman and read Molly Bloom and know what a woman is about. He’s that strong a writer to me.
Frank Delaney, 71, Irish journalist, author and broadcaster, on James Joyce:
This is what he does better than anyone else. He understands the tiny sins, the tiny virtues, the tiny venalities, the tiny advantages that people will look for in life. And nobody else ever did that before and nobody, I would contend, has done it as well since.
She showed up here with a comment in March, 2012. How? From where? No idea.
She rings the morning bell at the crack of dawn with a dash of wit or splash of insight – softening up the spillway for others to come behind her. Gentle. Grace. Light.
I’ve had a handful of guest bloggers post on my blog. Don’t miss: The Final Act of Love
Her post was recognized by WordPress as one of the best of the day in “Freshly Pressed“: An Ode to Entomology
Here’s an excerpt from her beautiful post yesterday on the Eve of a Big Day:
Perhaps that’s it – I still believe in wonders. In fact I think I notice them more than ever before. Wonder in the breath of the wind, the intangible, unbreakable connections that tie me to those I love. Wonder at how much more meaning my days have now that they have fewer requirements to dilute the attention I might give to the sun on my face. And while I marvel, I also realize how tightly I am holding onto this life. How much I love the moments as well as the spaces in between, when I breathe in the absolute sweetness of being a part of it all.
Read more here: Suddenly Sixty
Happy Birthday Mimi.
Image Credit: calendar.org
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
~ Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays
↓ click for audio (“Ruth and Sylvie” by Daniel Hart)
Bellys’ down on Hump Day and bask in it!
Photograph: Jim Boud. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
As you prepare your breakfast, think of others
(do not forget the pigeon’s food).
As you wage your wars, think of others
(do not forget those who seek peace).
As you pay your water bill, think of others
(those who are nursed by clouds).
As you return home, to your home, think of others
(do not forget the people of the camps).
As you sleep and count the stars, think of others
(those who have nowhere to sleep).
As you express yourself in metaphor, think of others
(those who have lost the right to speak).
As you think of others far away, think of yourself
(say: If only I were a candle in the dark.)
— Mahmoud Darwish, “Think of Others”
When the mind becomes highly relaxed and alert at the same time, three wonderful qualities of mind naturally emerge: calmness, clarity, and happiness. Here is the analogy. Imagine you have a pot of water full of sediments, and imagine that pot is constantly shaken and agitated. The water appears cloudy. Imagine that you stop agitating the pot and just let it rest on the floor. The water will become calm and, after a while, all the sediments will settle and the water will appear clear. This is the classical analogy of the mind in the alert and relaxed state. In this state, we temporarily stop agitating the mind the same way we stop agitating the pot.
A 3M Post-It Note. Picture not to scale. The post-it is actually 1″ x 2″, dwarfed by the two-foot high, 45-quart, air-tight, dog food storage container which sits underneath it. But, the Post-it punches above its weight class.
3 Words + a few symbols = Irritation.
She doesn’t think I will give him the right dosage.
She thinks I’ll overfeed him. You’re cutting his life short by giving him all these snacks.
3/4 C (Dog Food) + H20 (Water) + 1/4 C Green Beans (to help him with his digestion).
Mom and Eric are on a road trip for the weekend to see family. Rachel is in the city with Friends.
Dad and Man’s Best Friend Zeke are Home Alone.
Back to the Post-Its.
Do you have hope for the future? someone asked Robert Frost, toward the end.
Yes, and even for the past, he replied, that it will turn out to have been all right for what it was, something we can accept, mistakes made by the selves we had to be, not able to be, perhaps, what we wished, or what looking back half the time it seems we could so easily have been, or ought…
The future, yes, and even for the past, that it will become something we can bear.
And I too, and my children, so I hope, will recall as not too heavy the tug of those albatrosses I sadly placed upon their tender necks.
Hope for the past, yes, old Frost, your words provide that courage, and it brings strange peace that itself passes into past, easier to bear because you said it, rather casually, as snow went on falling in Vermont years ago.
~ David Ray, “Thanks, Robert Frost.”
David Ray, 82, was born in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. Ray comes from a broken home that was thrown into upheaval when his father left the family by hopping on the back of a watermelon truck headed to California. After his mother’s next failed marriage ended in the suicide of Ray’s stepfather, he and his sister Mary Ellen were placed into foster care—a system that wasn’t kind to young children in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Ray’s classic “Mulberries of Mingo” steeps from memories of he and his sister being thrown out of a foster families home at dinner time – to fend for themselves eating the mulberries from a neighbor’s tree. The years that followed were dark and tragic as he and his sister were separated to face their separate nightmares of abuse. He is a distinguished award winner, and has lectured and read at over 100 Universities in England, Canada and the U.S. Graduating from the University of Chicago, BA, MA. Ray’s poetry varies from short, three to four lines pieces, to longer 30 lines poems. His work is also often autobiographical, providing unique context and insight to scenes of childhood, love, fear, sex, and travel. “Communication is important to him, and he has the courage, working with a genre in which simplicity is suspect, to say plainly what he means.” He and his wife, poet and essayist Judy Ray, live in Tucson, Arizona.
Studs Terkel: “David Ray’s poetry has always been radiant even though personal tragedy has suffused it.” [Read more...]
49 Signs You’re Addicted To Reading by Koty Neelis:
1) …People are cool but reading is your preferred social activity.
8) You carry a book with you at all times because you never know when you’ll have a spare minute to do some extra reading.
16) You legitimately don’t understand people who say they don’t read.
25) You honestly can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday than reading a book and drinking coffee or tea.
29) You buy more books even if you have a stack of books that haven’t been read yet.
Read all 49 signs your addicted @ 49 Signs You’re Addicted To Reading
The National is an American indie rock band formed in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, in 1999, and currently based in Brooklyn. The band’s lyrics, which have been described as “dark, melancholy and difficult to interpret”, are written and sung by Matt Berninger, a baritone. The band has recorded six studio albums; the most recent, Trouble Will Find Me, was released in May 2013 and was nominated in the 2014 Grammys for Best Alternative Album.
Source: Ivan Kislov
Do you know how it is
when one wakes at night suddenly
and asks, listening to the pounding heart:
what more do you want,
— Czeslaw Milosz, from Farewell
1) There’s: “ … “
2) There’s: ” / “
3) There’s: “[...]“
I want to taste and glory in each day,
and never be afraid to experience pain;
and never shut myself up
in a numb core of non-feeling,
or stop questioning and criticizing life
and take the easy way out.
To learn and think:
to think and live;
to live and learn:
this always, with new insight,
and new love.
- Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
“From the beginning I had a sense of destiny, as though my life was assigned to me by fate and had to be fulfilled. This gave me an inner security, and though I could never prove it to myself, it proved itself to me. I did not have this certainty, it had me.”
C. G. Jung, from Memories, Dreams, Reflections
My Lady giving me some lovin’…here’s some Hump Day Inspiration.
When I was getting ready to graduate from college in 1957, I was fed up and ready to drop from exhaustion, but still my mind kept telling me, “Hurry, hurry, hurry.” I felt I had to do something, go on to the next step, whatever it was — career, graduate school, as long as it was important. This is an American disease.
~ Florence King
Photography: Thank you Carol @ Radiating Blossom
Thank you Susan via themetapicture.com
From Kate Murphy, NY Times, No Time to Think:
ONE of the biggest complaints in modern society is being overscheduled, overcommitted and overextended. Ask people at a social gathering how they are and the stock answer is “super busy,” “crazy busy” or “insanely busy.” Nobody is just “fine” anymore. When people aren’t super busy at work, they are crazy busy exercising, entertaining or taking their kids to Chinese lessons. Or maybe they are insanely busy playing fantasy football, tracing their genealogy or churning their own butter.
And if there is ever a still moment for reflective thought — say, while waiting in line at the grocery store or sitting in traffic — out comes the mobile device.
Moreover, in one experiment, 64 percent of men and 15 percent of women began self-administering electric shocks when left alone to think. These same people, by the way, had previously said they would pay money to avoid receiving the painful jolt.
It didn’t matter if the subjects engaged in the contemplative exercise at home or in the laboratory, or if they were given suggestions of what to think about, like a coming vacation; they just didn’t like being in their own heads.
It could be because human beings, when left alone, tend to dwell on what’s wrong in their lives. We have evolved to become problem solvers and meaning makers. What preys on our minds, when we aren’t updating our Facebook page or in spinning class, are the things we haven’t figured out — difficult relationships, personal and professional failures, money trouble, health concerns and so on. And until there is resolution, or at least some kind of understanding or acceptance, these thoughts reverberate in our heads. Hello rumination. Hello insomnia.
Read full article by Kate Murphy in NY Times: No Time To Think
Image Source: Sh*t In My Head
Millions of thoughts slide in and out – – moments of significance, yet these seeds on the blooming dandelion blow away. This ordinary moment hangs on. Why?
She met me in the hallway in front of the elevators. We were both finishing our day. She looked fresher, wearing a blue skirt and jacket, standing with a colleague – offering up a “Hey, Dad.”
It’s early evening in Midtown. The humidity, stifling. Crowds are milling around the theatre ticket booths. Father and Daughter are out of the building looking to catch the 6:49.
We reach a “Don’t Walk” and I point down to 47th. She tugs at my suit jacket.
“Dad, I’ve timed it. It’s not faster to zig-zag. Just wait. Take it straight down. It’s faster.”
She’s timed it. It’s faster. [Read more...]
The endless, useless urge to look on life comprehensively, to take a bird’s-eye view of ourselves and judge the dimensions of what we have or have not done: this is life as a landscape, or life as resume. But life is incremental, and though a worthwhile life is a gathering together of all that one is, good and bad, successful and not, the paradox is that we can never really see this one that all of our increments (and decrements, I suppose) add up to. “Early we receive a call,” writes Czeslaw Milosz, “yet it remains incomprehensible, / and only late do we discover how obedient we were.”
— Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2013)
I finished this book last night. As Henry David Thoreau said: “Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.”
This short film beautifully captures the soul and spirit of Japan. (And we’ll forgive them for wrapping it with Bon Iver’s beautiful Holocene.)
Good Sunday Morning.
Noah Gundersen, 25, is an American singer-songwriter from Seattle, Washington. Gundersen began playing music when he was 10 or 11 years old when his parents had him take piano lessons. In 2002, he inherited his first guitar from his father and taught himself to play the guitar and recorded songs with his father’s recording equipment. Three years later, his birthday gift was an acoustic guitar with which he still performs with today. Around the age of 16, Gundersen was performing solo in local cafes. His sister Abby began to accompany him with violin and harmonies in 2006.
Find this tune on iTunes on his album Ledges.
In many ways this blog is me talking to myself. What makes the thing work, if indeed it does, is that there are a lot people like me and they are dealing with the same issues I’m dealing with. So talking to myself in this public forum is, in its way, a meditation for those individuals as well. So I don’t ask myself, “What do I imagine others want to read in this space?” I ask, “What do I want? What issues are bothering me? What questions am I exploring?”
Don’t miss reading about “serving the muse” and “the irresistible gravitational pull of your Pole Star”
Is that an answer to the question, “Why am I writing this blog? Why are you reading it?”
May be. In asking myself these questions and publishing them in this public forum, I’m hoping a) to fortify and enlighten myself in this mysterious journey, and b) to tell you that you’re not alone, that your questions (which I can’t help but believe are just like mine) are not silly or fatuous or unworthy, and that at least one other person on this planet—i.e., me—is just as crazy as you are.
Read more here: Why, #3